“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Had Hippocrates just had a spoonful of bee pollen when he stated this? We are quite positive. From antioxidant properties to benefits in reducing stress and helping focus, it has been used since ancient times as an exceptional dietary supplement and natural medicine. That’s what you call a superfood.
Every single colorful grain of bee pollen contains a high concentration of proteins, amino acids, lipids, phenolic compounds, vitamins, and minerals, making it a true nutritional bomb. But the truth is that not all bee pollen is created equal.
First things first; what is bee pollen, exactly?
We asked Luigi Manias, our bee whisperer and world expert in honey. As Luigi says, to put it in a nutshell, bees’ number one goal is to collect nectar and produce honey. Nevertheless, worker bees have a unique feature lacking in all the other bees in the hive: a particular set of rear legs containing combs and a section – called pollen basket – devoted to pollen accumulation. When visiting a flower for its nectar, the bee grooms herself and brushes pollen sticking to her body toward her hind legs. Then, she packs the pollen into the basket and transports it to the hive, where it is stored and used as food for the colony.
Pollen can be easily retrieved from the returning worker bees through mesh traps at the hive entrance. The worker bees drop the pollen to overcome the traps and enter the hive, which is finally harvested, frozen, and dehumidified. And if you are wondering, no, not all the pollen collected by the hardworking bees is withheld by the beekeepers, just a tiny part!
Pollen is an accurate picture of the health conditions of its surroundings: Luigi’s pollen doesn’t contain any trace of pesticides, herbicides, or metals, while recent studies show it contains up to 20% more carotenoids and flavonoids than other pollen types. It means there is not quite another bee pollen providing this kind of nutritional and anti-inflammatory boost.